Spangdahlem’s 480th Fighter Squadron deployed to Monte Real Air Base earlier this year. And this is a video showing what they have done in Portugal.
The “Warhawks” have been travelling quite a bit lately.
As already reported, 18 F-16CM/DM Fighting Falcon with the 480th Fighter Squadron of the 52nd Fighter Wing, from Spangdahlem AB, in Germany, are currently deployed to Krzesiny AB, Poland. In April, we “met” them in Andravida AB, Greece, where they had deployed with 12 aircraft to take part in “Iniochos 2019” exercise. Earlier, from Feb. 4 -22, 2019, the “Warhawks” deployed from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to Monte Real, Portugal, to take part in an FTD (flying training deployment) with the Portuguese air force.
More than 300 Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing and 18x F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron took part in the FTD to better integrate and share tactics, techniques, and procedures with each other to better improve interoperability.
“We came out here to primarily demonstrate two objectives,” said Lt. Col. Michael Richard, 480th EFS commander in a public release. “First is our readiness, to be able to pick up a large number of aircraft and personnel and bring them to a foreign country and operate rather expeditiously, and to also demonstrate our interoperability.”
The following cool video, filmed with GoPro and stabilized cameras, shows, from inside the cockpit, the wide array of missions flown by the “Warhawks” over Portugal, including low level navigation sorties, escort to and from the operative areas as well as strafing runs and bombing missions on local training ranges. By the way, an interesting detail: the video of a (female) pilot with a ponytail.
During the FTD, the 480th EFS carried out and trained on defensive counter air measures, offensive counter air operations, suppression of enemy air defenses and escorting. The USAFE F-16CM/DM also flew joint mission with the F-16s of the Esq 201 and Esq 301 of Portuguese Air Force (Força Aerea Portuguesa), based at Monte Real.